Monthly Archives: June 2011

Quotes That Effect Me

From time to time I will share quotes that I have read that effect me in some way.  Some act as a mini-muse and throw me into the writing zone, while others just cause me to pause and ponder upon the meaning for a second or two.

“We all have that moment in life when something terrible happens for the first time.  Something so unexpected, so awful, that it…..it takes the magic out of the world.  Life becomes harder, colder.  And everything we do in our lives, from that day on, is our way of coping with that one moment.  We stop living and we merely exist.  We either choose to move on from that, or we let it consume us.”

Relentless(Dominion Trilogy #1) by Robin Parrish

For me this quote does a fantastic job of explaining what happens when someone loses their “innocence.”  To me this does a great job of capturing how I felt after losing people I cared about.  The part about having the choice to move on or let it dictate your life is very meaningful to  me.

6 Comments

Filed under Quotes

This Week Kicked Me In The Balls (And Laughed About it)

You know the saying when it rains it pours?  Well this last week seemed like a flash flood.  It started promising enough.  Last Saturday I sat down to get some writing done and next thing I know I have completed a few chapters and ended up being very pleased with how they read.  I spent a quality day with my lovely wife, watched a great movie, and right before bed had a great idea about possibly a series of books that I could write.  So the end of the day was filled with excited note taken & falling asleep thinking about this new exciting universe………..then Sunday arrived.

Sunday

I remember waking up and thinking it seemed a little more toasty then usual.  When I glanced at our thermostat I realized that it was set for 70 (I like it cold, I prefer to constantly be in danger of hypothermia) , but was actually currently 75, and that is when I realized our air conditioning was out.  So we called our A/C guy who couldn’t come out until Monday, so the wife & I got to enjoy 90+ degree heat with a single fan…..

Monday

Monday arrives and I notice my car isn’t running as well as it should.  So I make an appt to drop it off at our local repair shop.  Later on that day our A/C guy shows up tells us we have a gauge that is out, isn’t sure if they have it but will go look and call back.  Around 6pm that night we hadn’t heard from him so I made a call and found out they don’t have the part, but have ordered it (over-night), and oops their bad they forgot to call.

Tuesday

Get a call from our repair shop and basically my car is on life-support and am advised that I should probably pull the plug.   So the 2nd half of the day is running around trying to get a rental vehicle so that both my wife & I have transportation.  A/C guy calls, part not in yet, no idea when.  Still no A/C.  Also my work states they need us all to do mandatory overtime. I kick a cat in anger (not really).

Wednesday

Wake up early in order to get started on that mandatory overtime, enjoy an extra 2 hours at work.  Mid-day realize that my favorite, albeit old, pair of jeans(which I’m currently wearing) have a small-ish hole near the crouch-al  region.  Spend the rest of the day in very specific stances in order to avoid any awkward moments.  Also contact A/C guy, part not in yet, no idea when. Still no A/C.

Thursday

Finish up overtime at work, have to present a series of “Diversity Awareness” activities to various teams in my building, momentarily consider jumping out of our 3 story window.  I contact A/C guy, part not in yet, looks like it should come in Friday, they promise to install it just as soon as it arrives.  Still no A/C.

Friday

A/C guy calls while I’m at work and leaves me a message stating they will call me back later today to schedule a time to come out and fix my A/C.  This is around 11 am, at 2 pm I get a call from them asking where I am at because they are standing outside my house waiting for me.  Just an FYI I live approx 40 minutes away from my workplace, and remember that mandatory OT?  Yeah no way I am leaving early.  I call a total of 5 people who live near by and might be able to let the A/C guy in,  all of them are productive adults and at work.  Eventually I give the A/C guy my garage code and give him the ok to go inside without me and fix the A/C.

Right now it is Saturday and I get to look forward to shopping for a new car.  Some people consider this to be exciting and if it wasn’t for having to deal with car salesmen I would probably agree.

Now I will admit things could have been a lot worse.  This week was relatively cool so being without A/C for the entire week wasn’t that horrible.  Also the problems with my car were pretty severe and could have stranded me in the middle of no-where.  No one noticed my holey-crouch jeans while I was at work, and they paid me $$ for all the overtime I completed there.  So you could easily argue this is a glass half-full/half-empty type of situation.  But to be totally honest next week in order to prevent any arguments or misunderstandings I would much rather have one of these…


A Full Glass

13 Comments

Filed under Humor

What Breaks Your Emotional Wall?


Anyone that has ever cried while consuming some type of media knows the exact moment their emotional wall breaks down.  Some people try to hold it back but the pressure keeps building and building until eventually the whole thing bursts, which usually equates to copious amounts of tears  🙂

The funny thing is that there are certain triggers that can cause the wall to break without much pressure at all.   Take my wife for example.  If we watch a TV show & there is even a hint that an animal is suffering or in trouble she freezes in place and tears are never far behind.  Her biggest weakness is a male crying.  If we watch a TV show or movie and there is middle aged father crying she loses it completely.  I know that is a very specific scenario but without fail every time it knocks down her emotional wall.

I am sure a psychologist would have a field day looking into why certain triggers cause certain people to break down, but I find it just as interesting as a writer.  Everyone is different but there are universal triggers out there that can cause an emotion to automatically manifest.  If you can discover these triggers and masterfully integrate them into you story then you can give your novel quite the powerful punch.

Also since I kind of threw my wife under the bus I guess I should  admit to what quirky thing causes my emotional barriers to crumple into a thousand pieces.  Young teenagers who have had a tough life but give back to the community in a meaningful way, sounds cheesy I know.  There is something about a person who has had so many things go against them but still finds a way to overcome it, be a good person, and give back that causes my eyes to leak all over the place.

Now that I have embarrassed myself what breaks down your emotional wall?

14 Comments

Filed under Life, Ramblings

The Official Appreciation Blog

I just wanted to dedicate a blog to thank everyone who commented on my Main Character post. This ended up being a very cathartic experience not just in writing it, but in sharing and reading the feedback.  Thank you all for reading and sharing your personal stories.

I have only been blogging for about a month but I have already interacted with some people in the blog-o-sphere that have really made my life better.  Whether it’s writing advice (Thanks Linda , Kimberly, and Barbara), or helping me come to the realization that others share my demented sense of humor (Frank, I’m looking at you).

So again thanks all for doing what you do!

5 Comments

Filed under Life

The Main Character…….me

So I guess this is the part of the story where you are supposed to get to know the main character? The point in the story where the author gives you a reason to be interested in them so that he/she can eventually get you to care about them? Well I will be the first to admit that I am NOT a very interesting main character but since you are reading this blog I might as well give you my motivation.

When I was younger my mother and I didn’t always get along. Later in life I came to realize it was because we were so much alike. When I was younger I made a point to do everything she told me not to do, and not to do everything she told me to do.  So needless to say we butted heads more often then not. Yet a funny thing happened as I was going through middle school, my mother and I started to read together. I’m not talking the “kid laying in bed, while mommy sits nearby and reads out loud” type of thing, more the book club type of reading together. She would read a great book and tell me all about it & I would quickly pick it up as soon as she was finished and read it as well. Then followed a very excited recap of why we did or did not like the book. Before we knew it the butting of heads subsided and we dove into the same fictional worlds together.

When I began writing seriously in college she was very supportive and openly excited. I will admit that I would give her tidbits of what my story was about but I refused to let her read it until it was completed. I used to day-dream about one day surprising her with a fully bound book, authored by me of course, that had just been published. Inside the cover it would be dedicated to her, she would read it, love it, and then discover that it was already a best seller. I would then go on to inform her that she didn’t have to work all the time, could go to college and live the life she had always dreamed.

My mother was killed in a car accident before I graduated college.

To summarize in words what she meant to me is next to impossible. There is a chance that I will one day blog about all the challenges that faced me after that incident, but this blog is about my motivation. I set my book to the side for quite awhile after that. Partly because of the challenges I faced after wards but also because it was a little too painful. I love to tell stories but my biggest motivator was to write a story that my mother would love. To show to her that all the time we spent reading together, all the lessons she taught me, all the sacrifices she made for me, were worth it.

So why do I write now? The desire to tell stories never left, but more importantly because I know she would still want me to. Sure I cannot see the look on her face as she sees that cover or reads that dedication, sure I can’t sit down with her and discuss what she did & did not like, and sure I cannot swoop in and give her the opportunity to do all the things that she put off for us; but I can still make her proud. I can still fulfill that part of me that loves to tell stories and share different experiences with others, that same part of me that she helped to create & nurture.

So what is my motivation? Her.

22 Comments

Filed under Life, Loss, Writing

Creative Fatigue

I played football, basketball, track, and baseball so I am no stranger to physical fatigue.  I have been forced to run until my legs felt like jelly, my sides burned like they were on fire,  and my previous meal exited my body the same way it had entered.  Now why am I telling you this wonderfully appetizing fact?  It is because I want to establish that I have experience in getting my butt kicked physically so when I tell you that mental & creative fatigue is worse, you will believe me.

My current job creates a lot of mental fatigue and at the end of the day I feel worthless.  When you are physically tired you can take a long bath, wrap up in a cool blanket, or sink deep into a fluffy bed to get comfort.  Not so much when you are mentally tired.  Having mental fatigue means that you are literally tired of thinking and that is not something you can easily take a break from especially if you have responsibilities.

With that said, creative fatigue is the absolute worse for me.  Whether reading, watching a movie/TV, or simply staring out a window the creative spark I have in my head keeps me going.  Even if I am not writing having that creative spark allows me to get inspiration from the most random things and I can file those ideas into my writing bank to withdraw the next time I get a chance to write.  Yet when I have creative fatigue that spark is gone and with it everything seems to take on a couple more shades of grey.  With that little bit of magic gone things don’t have the same impact and it is like sleepwalking.

I have been accused of much worse then being crazy so what do you all think?  Is it possible to have creative fatigue?  Have you had it?  And more importantly is there a way to re-energize or rest your creative mind without a long nights sleep?

5 Comments

Filed under Life, Writing

What Would You Do To Save Someone You Loved?

The current project I am working on deals with a person that does some really bad things.  This person recognizes they are bad but does them to prove a point and to start something that is not readily apparent to the reader until towards the end of the story.

I am attempting to have the reader understand what the character is doing, not necessarily agree with him, but understand it.  One of the  greatest things a story can accomplish is to have the consumer question something that they believed they already knew the answer to.  This story would be a success if I could get the reader to question or at the very least re-examine their morals.

My inspiration for this story has to do with a question I read in a short story, “What would you do in order to save someone you loved?”.  That is very interesting to me.  How far would you go?  What would you sacrifice?  For my story the character isn’t trying to save a individual person he is trying to save something that is not entirely tangible, innocence.

The concept of innocence will probably end up being a completely separate blog post in the future, but it also interests me.  Everyone loses their “innocence” at some point growing up.  This can be as simple as learning there is no Santa Claus, learning your parents are fallible, to something much darker like physical/sexual abuse, losing a loved one, etc.  Now some people believe that physical/sexual abuse is passed from one generation to the next.  A person that was abused is more likely to abuse someone in their lifetime.  So someone who has their innocence stolen from them is more likely to do the same to someone else.

So a question my character may ask would be, would you be willing to end the life of one person in order to save a dozen?  If no, would you be willing to take this same person’s life in order to save your family?  And if the question is yes to the 2nd question what does that say about yourself?  You would kill to save someone you loved but not a stranger who also has people that care for them.  If you think that it is only justifiable if you love the person you are trying to save what if your beliefs cause you to have the same affinity for groups of people and not just a single individual?

My struggle is to enter the mind of someone who would think in these shades of grey and not make him out to be a monster.  Sometimes I enjoy it other times it is truly a struggle.  Yet the reason I love to write and tell stories is the ability to step into another’s shoes and see the world as they see it.  So if it disturbs me at times then hopefully it will do the same for the reader, and the ability to elicit emotion is one of writers greatest tools!

5 Comments

Filed under Writing